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The [Thursday] Papers

"800 Sickened, 7 Dead: Inmates And Guards Describe Life Inside Cook County Jail," WBEZ reports. "The sprawling facility is battling one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in the country."

Wherefore art thou, Tom Dart? What happened to you?

"Dart has repeatedly defended his handling of the health crisis. While citing unique challenges - like weighing if a detainee might use hygiene supplies as a weapon, as one allegedly did this month by using soap inside a sock in an attack - he has maintained that his office has 'been in front of this pandemic every step of the way,' from screening new admissions for the virus to supplying staff and detainees with hand sanitizer to educating detainees about social distancing.

"But people who live and work inside the jail say otherwise. WBEZ and ProPublica interviewed a dozen correctional officers, health care staff and inmates about how authorities responded to the crisis. They described a lack of personal protective equipment, inadequate testing and a spillover to community hospitals, as confusion and terror spread along with the virus. Taken together, their accounts offer potential lessons for other institutions that are now facing their own outbreaks."

Go read it.

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Rent Is Too Damn . . . Renty
"Rent is due again on Friday, the first day of yet another month in the coronavirus crisis, and thousands of Chicagoans won't be able to pay it. Meanwhile outbreaks of the infection are occurring in homeless shelters," Curtis Black writes for the Chicago Reporter.

"The city and state are taking first steps to address this crisis, but advocates are working to make housing and homelessness issues a much higher priority - particularly at the Chicago Housing Authority. And they are starting from behind, because at every level, programs and policies have lagged far behind the need for many years."

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Black also notes:

"Mayor Lori Lightfoot has rebuffed a proposal by 47th Ward Ald. Matt Martin to require landlords to give tenants 12 months to catch up on unpaid rent accumulated during the state's stay-at-home order. [City Housing Department spokesperson Don]Terry told me the city maintains that the proposal is illegal under state legislation banning rent control - though experts say that position is debatable, and the actual statute only bars local legislation regulating 'the amount of rent.'

"On Wednesday, Lightfoot joined housing lenders and landlord associations to announce the Chicago Housing Solidarity Pledge, under which 'lenders and landlords may offer eligible renters and mortgage holders deferred payment agreements and other financial relief.'"

The same argument about the legality of mandatory rent relief is going on at the state level; Gov. J.B. Pritzker insists that he has no authority to suspend rent without action by the General Assembly.

I don't know whose legal argument is correct, but a voluntary pledge is wholly insufficient to protect renters - and mortgage-holders. It seems like all these smart folks could come up with a creative solution. What are people supposed to do?

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Pritzker has issued an Executive Order banning eviction filings, but according to the Autonomous Tenants Union, speaking for itself and a coalition of 20 other community organizations, "The grim reality is that hundreds of evictions have been filed since Gov. Pritzker's stay-at-home order was put in place, and without universal rent relief, the end of the COVID-19 crisis will see the beginning of an unprecedented eviction crisis."

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Back to Black:

"At the state level, Rep. Delia Ramirez has been pushing to make the growing housing crisis a priority, prompting Pritzker to establish a task force of state agencies and the House of Representatives to form a housing working group. She plans to unveil an emergency housing package in coming days, which will include a provision cancelling rent for tenants with demonstrated financial hardship, coupled with a program offering landlords relief on mortgages, property taxes and utilities.

"She hopes some version of the legislation will be included in an omnibus emergency bill when the General Assembly meets at the end of May."

Go read the rest, there's lots more there.

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More Bad News

* UIC Nurse On Front Line Of Virus Loses Husband To COVID-19.

* CTA Announces 4th Employee Death Related To COVID-19.

* Illinois Latinos Catch Up To African Americans In Coronavirus Cases.

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New on the Beachwood . . .

Low-Wage Workers Forced To Risk Lives For Wealthy
"The nation's low-wage workers face a particular kind of bind."

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Climate Change Threatens Great Lakes Drinking Water
'Despite a half-century of advances, in many ways Great Lakes water quality is back to where it was in 1970, but with the added influence of a rapidly changing climate.'

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ChicagoReddit

Has anyone actually gotten their COVID Ventra pass refund? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

"Little Joe from Chicago" / Mary Lou Williams

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BeachBook

A Michigan Family Makes Everyone Passing Their House Do Monty Python Silly Walks, And Then Puts Recordings on Instagram.

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TweetWood
A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.

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The Beachwood Q-Tip Line: Don't look now.



Permalink

Posted on April 30, 2020


MUSIC - Muddy Waters Museum Has Mojo.
TV - WGN Now Trump TV.
POLITICS - President Trump Has 3,400 Conflicts Of Interest.
SPORTS - The Big Ten's Blood Money.

BOOKS - Searching For The World's Largest Owl.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - New Mop Shaped Like Taco.


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